Woman Dies During Miami Beach Diving Trip

Police investigating after woman doesn't surface from waters off Key Biscayne

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    Police are investigating after a woman died during a diving trip in Miami Beach. Divers Kevin Galloway and Peter Restivo and diving instructor Ariane Dimitris discuss the incident. (Published Monday, Feb 25, 2013)

    Police are investigating after witnesses say a woman died during a diving trip in Miami Beach Sunday.

    The woman, described by fellow divers as a tourist in her 30s, headed out on the boat around 1 p.m. from the Miami Beach Marina into the waters near Key Biscayne.

    Witnesses said as the group was diving, the woman went underwater on her own. When the diving master did a head count back on the boat, she was no where to be found.

    The woman's body was found after a two-hour search, but it was too late.

    "We brought her back up, I did CPR, I'm an EMT," said diver Kevin Galloway, who was on the boat. "There were also two student doctors on the boat. We did what we could but she was gone."
     
    "I did not expect to use my EMT skills tonight," Galloway said.

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    Galloway was part of the group that went out with RJ Diving Ventures of Miami Beach. Peter Restivo and Ariane Dimitris, a scuba instructor who doesn't work for RJ Diving Ventures, were also on the boat.

    "She was Chinese, didn't speak English. People noticed she was nervous right away. She had a mask on, they told her to put her mask down, she didn't understand them," said Restivo.

    Restivo said he and Dimitris waited for the tourist, along with her diving buddy, for over 15 minutes, before eventually going in the water.

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    "We saw her on the ladder. We thought 'she's not diving, that's it,'" Dimitris said. "Nobody intentionally left her in the water or anything."
     
    They said the woman still had on her weight belt, but none of her other equipment.
     
    "I've never heard of anyone taking off even their fins. It's very strange," Dimitris said. "And normally if someone panics you're supposed to drop your weights and keep everything else on you because that was her survival."
     
    Divers believe keeping that weight belt on was the woman's fatal mistake. They compared it to grabbing onto an anchor in the water, instead of a life preserve. 
     
    "They didn't do anything wrong. I mean, we spent hours looking for her, they did everything they can," said Dimitris, about the company that took them out to dive.
     
    Restivo agreed there was nothing the company could have done to save the woman's life.
     
    "I'd dive with them tomorrow," he said.
     
    Miami-Dade Police are investigating the incident. NBC 6 South Florida attempted to reach out to RJ Diving Ventures but were only able to leave a message.

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